shimbu
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Very Typical - New bonsai, need help with Serissa foetida

Hello!

Brand new to to the site. Great to be around some seasoned bonsai keepers!

I'm very new to keeping a bonsai, although very enthusiastic, and I've read up quite a bit. Unfortunately, like many, although buying my bonsai from a very elderly Japanese couple, didn't get any literature with mine. I have a few pictures here, could you help me Identify it, and although I have books, some pointers of pure experience wouldn't hurt as well.

https://www.danielboonerodandgun.com/plant/S5001196.JPG
https://www.danielboonerodandgun.com/plant/S5001197.JPG
https://www.danielboonerodandgun.com/plant/S5001198.JPG
https://www.danielboonerodandgun.com/plant/S5001199.JPG

Thanks!


Shimbu - Movement within Stillness.

ynot
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Re: Very Typical - New bonsai, need help Identifying

shimbu wrote:Hello!

Brand new to to the site. Great to be around some seasoned bonsai keepers!
Welcome Shimbu 8)
...{snip}
didn't get any literature with mine. I have a few pictures here, could you help me Identify it, and although I have books, some pointers of pure experience wouldn't hurt as well.
No lit is sadly typical in many cases :evil:, Keep reading and researching - Your tree will be all the better for it.

You don't mention any titles of your books, But do look up your {blooming 8)}Serissa foetida in them. Also see here:
https://www.bonsai4me.com/SpeciesGuide/Serissa.html

Check the stickys at the top of the forum as well as the site below for some excellent articles, See here:
https://www.bonsai4me.com/Basics.html
Many will be useful to you but start with the beginners articles as well as the ones on watering, Soil, Indoor culture and go on from there.

There are photo tips available [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3557]here[/url] for when you are ready to show it off or to compare progress.

If you want to see some bonsai inspiration Look here: https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3557

ynot

EDIT: 4 minutes For the just passed holiday Gnome :P ;)
Last edited by ynot on Thu Jul 05, 2007 7:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Gnome
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Shimbu,

Hello and welcome to the site. Although I am not certain I suspect that your tree may be a Serissa foetida, commonly known as 'Tree of a 1000 stars' You can verify this by snipping a shoot and noting a strong odor, hence the moniker 'foetida' meaning smelly.

[url]https://www.bonsai4me.com/SpeciesGuide/Serissa.html[/url]

Please remove the rocks that adorn the top of the soil, they serve no useful purpose and can actually cause problems by preventing you from accurately judging the condition of the soil. They also inhibit thorough watering and proper aeration of the soil.

If you have not already done so read the sticky threads at the top of the forum. Make sure to follow the links contained therein, there is much knowledge to be gleaned from the sites that are referenced. Proper watering is foremost right now so pay particular attention to that. If you are keeping it indoors it will be much happier outside for the summer.

Norm

shimbu
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Location: Reading, PA

Thanks guys!!!

I'll take the rocks out, right away! The book I used the most for my reading is at home (I'm at work now) and I think it just says "Bonsai" But it's a huge white book, with alot of liturature for a bunch of different types of bonsai. History, general care, etc etc.

I noticed in my reading around the site, you say that not all (or was it 'none) of the small bonsai grow to be big. Is this true 100%? The reason I picked a smaller bonsai, was becuase I didn't want a pre-already toyed with-bonsai. I wanted something fresh I could create into my own personality. Hopefully eventually growing atleast a little larger.

Thanks for all the help. I'm gonna go read that site now.!

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Shimbu,
Thanks guys!!!
You're welcome.
I noticed in my reading around the site, you say that not all (or was it 'none) of the small bonsai grow to be big. Is this true 100%? The reason I picked a smaller bonsai, was becuase I didn't want a pre-already toyed with-bonsai. I wanted something fresh I could create into my own personality. Hopefully eventually growing atleast a little larger.
Among experienced growers bonsai are not generally put into finished pots until they have reached a certain level of development. Once they are potted growth slows, primarily due to the root pruning required to keep them in the pot.

Many mass produced commercial bonsai, (Mallsai) are potted prematurely, as is yours in my opinion. This does not mean that it cannot be a source of pleasure and learning for you but if you seek a larger specimen then several years of unchecked growth will be required. If this were a temperate tree I would suggest planting it out in the ground or, failing that, a larger training pot. Being a tropical, the former is not possible in your location and the latter may be impractical for you. You may not want a 12 inch pot in your home for the several years it will take to thicken up.

I suggest you simply learn to appreciate this plant for what it is, a learning tool and a gateway to a future hobby. It will improve over time. Spend time learning to manage it, they are reputed to be finicky, and once you are ready to acquire another tree you will be in a better position to choose a tree that will meet your expectations. Continue reading and researching this is how you will make a better decision next time, don't be discouraged it takes a while for all this to sink in.

Norm

shimbu
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You may not want a 12 inch pot in your home for the several years it will take to thicken up.
Not that I am at all dissagreeing with you, as I feel this will be my first love, which shouldn't nessisarily mean I should expect the world. At the same token... WHAT IF! I don't mind at all a larger pot to see if I can convince this beauty to grow to a larger extent? I know this particular plant is very "tough" to replant but once every 2 years. IF I were to roll the proverbial dice and try to plant it into a bigger pot, Could I get away with it now? Or wait till next spring? Specially seeing as I just bought it and transported it to a different more stressful setting.

Don't get me wrong, if you, being what seems a seasoned vet at this, are against the idea for fear of hurting or ever (NOOO) killing the bonsai, then I'll not do such a thing. I was just hopping deep down that my first could some day be a large beautiful thing that I could show my kids (yes large hopes for my first ;) ).

As well. As I look around and read about how it loves tropical humid air, being in an air conditioned house (specialy when it gets cold) what is a easy home remidy (things found around the house...) or to that I could by, to keep the plant moist? I've heard something of putting resessing it over a dish of water could help. Is this a good direction?

Also, will it hurt the bonsai to move it 5 feet from a table to the window sill and back in the evening? I don't know how stressed they get from slight easy movement.

THANKS ABUNCH!

Edit: As I re-read this post, I realize it seams I'm inheriting the western philosophy that bigger is better. Don't get me wrong, I love beauty in little things, I guess I was just invisioning something on a grander scale ;) forgive me!

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It looks to me like a Fukien Tea. That was my first impression, but I'm not really sure.

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shimbu,

First a bit of a disclaimer: You will notice that until now I have spoken in general terms, you should know that I have no personal knowledge of this species. Any specific cultural advice I might offer would someone else's.
if you, being what seems a seasoned vet at this,
I appreciate that but I am just a little further down this particular road than you. Translation: I've killed a lot of trees. I too have much to learn and I too learn things here.
I know this particular plant is very "tough" to replant but once every 2 years. IF I were to roll the proverbial dice and try to plant it into a bigger pot, Could I get away with it now? Or wait till next spring?
In this I defer to Harry Harrington's advice at the link I posted earlier, wait until spring. Bonsai will teach you patience.
WHAT IF! I don't mind at all a larger pot to see if I can convince this beauty to grow to a larger extent?
That is entirely up to you, the amount of space you can provide and the level of desire that you have for this particular plant to thrive. Beside the obvious space issues you will probably have to provide some form of supplemental lighting starting this fall. This will be an inconvenience and an expense. Both the initial purchase and the ongoing electricity costs, not insurmountable but still relevant.
I was just hopping deep down that my first could some day be a large beautiful thing that I could show my kids (yes large hopes for my first ).
Of course it is possible but it will take time and patience on your part. If you are serious about this it will take years until it approaches a finished large sized bonsai.
As well. As I look around and read about how it loves tropical humid air, being in an air conditioned house (specialy when it gets cold) what is a easy home remidy (things found around the house...) or to that I could by, to keep the plant moist? I've heard something of putting resessing it over a dish of water could help. Is this a good direction
I don't quite follow the logic of this
being in an air conditioned house (specialy when it gets cold)
but I understand the concern about humidity. Yes a 'humidity tray' will help in that regard. It is nothing more than a shallow tray filled with small gravel of some kind. Water is kept up to the level of the stones but not so high as to allow wicking into the pot. The larger the area of the tray the more beneficial it will be.
Also, will it hurt the bonsai to move it 5 feet from a table to the window sill and back in the evening? I don't know how stressed they get from slight easy movement.
I suggest you re-read Harry's care sheet paying particular attention the position he recommends. Moving it around constantly seems to be asking for problems.

Here is a link the site of a man who keeps his tropicals indoors year round. Note that he uses expensive lighting to provide the level of growth he desires. Review the whole site, not all of it will be of interest to you but do spend some time there.

[url]https://bonsaihunk.8m.com/cultural.html[/url]

Norm

ynot
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shimbu wrote:Thanks guys!!!
Your very welcome
I'll take the rocks out, right away! The book I used the most for my reading is at home (I'm at work now) and I think it just says "Bonsai" But it's a huge white book, with alot of liturature for a bunch of different types of bonsai. History, general care, etc etc.
You will have a library soon enough...:lol:
I noticed in my reading around the site, you say that not all (or was it 'none) of the small bonsai grow to be big. Is this true 100%?


I am glad to hear you are doing lots of research :D :D :D!

Well, Obviously growing things increase in size. :)

I do say that from time to time but I am afraid you have mis-stated it slightly [or mis-interpreted it possibly].
It has a dual context in that it refers to bonsai in small pots and also the fact that Larger specimens tend to be cut back [& retrained wrt branching] as opposed to being grown out initially.

{It wasn't grown/developed in a small pot that is - People often seem to want to have the tiny pretty pot and still expect massive amounts of growth to take place & their 'stick in a pot' will magically morph into an 'ancient forrest goliath' in 3 years... And that is NOT going to happen as you will see below}.

Here is an example what I mean when I say that bonsai in small pots do not become large bonsai [Not any time soon anyway].

[img]https://img127.imageshack.us/img127/9548/16gazoumt8.jpg[/img][img]https://img127.imageshack.us/img127/9826/16gazou2over20yearsearlieron3.jpg[/img]

These two pictures are of the same Maple, Taken 20 years apart.

On the other hand when planted in the ground [Or a larger container] and left unpruned [url=https://www.evergreengardenworks.com/acer.htm]Brent Walston[/url] states [Re: Hedge Maple]
It is an excellent beginner plant that grows fast and is very forgiving. Our 2 3/4 inch size plants [MY EDIT: 2 3/4 is the pot size, These trees are likely 1/4" caliper or so {possibly smaller}] are relatively straight and pruned down to about 12 to 16 inches tall. Planted in one gallon cans and given optimum growing conditions, they will achieve a one inch caliper in about one year.
As you can see the container [Or lack of & pruning as well makes a significant difference.]
The reason I picked a smaller bonsai, was becuase I didn't want a pre-already toyed with-bonsai. I wanted something fresh I could create into my own personality. Hopefully eventually growing atleast a little larger.
That can happen certainly, But you have to understand the principles behind it. As well as understanding that while growing any piece out it hardly resembles the 'end' result.

People get fooled into thinking that bonsai look good all the time [by all the perfect pictures that they see]. This is simply not true, The pictures capture the perfect moment in time [Well, The good ones do ;)].
Many bonsai on a day to day basis more closely resemble a building under construction as they are living they constantly change and therefore are constantly a work in progress.
gnome wrote: You may not want a 12 inch pot in your home for the several years it will take to thicken up.
Not that I am at all dissagreeing with you, as I feel this will be my first love, which shouldn't nessisarily mean I should expect the world. At the same token... WHAT IF! I don't mind at all a larger pot to see if I can convince this beauty to grow to a larger extent?
I think Gnome was just acknowledging that most people don't want a gigantic pot around the house. It is absolutely possible though I would suggest ficus [easier care] if you wish to do this.
I know this particular plant is very "tough" to replant but once every 2 years. IF I were to roll the proverbial dice and try to plant it into a bigger pot, Could I get away with it now? Or wait till next spring? Specially seeing as I just bought it and transported it to a different more stressful setting.
It is possible sure, But....More important than this is that you get it out of the A/C [A/C could hardly be considered a humid environment - Outdoors would be best.]
Don't get me wrong, if you, being what seems a seasoned vet at this,
:lol:... Nope, Still learning [Always], I have just killed way more trees than you is all - It is an important part the bonsai learning process that you will experience no doubt.
are against the idea for fear of hurting or ever (NOOO) killing the bonsai, then I'll not do such a thing. I was just hopping deep down that my first could some day be a large beautiful thing that I could show my kids (yes large hopes for my first. ).
Don't kill the messenger here but....

You should know that deaths come with the territory. It has been famously said that:

'Dead trees are the tuition you pay to do bonsai' ~ John Y, Naka

The learning curve is especially steep early on. As you are seeing in your reading there is much to be considered simply from a horticultural aspect [Nevermind the artistic side].

As well. As I look around and read about how it loves tropical humid air, being in an air conditioned house (specialy when it gets cold) what is a easy home remidy (things found around the house...) or to that I could by, to keep the plant moist? I've heard something of putting resessing it over a dish of water could help. Is this a good direction?
Also, will it hurt the bonsai to move it 5 feet from a table to the window sill and back in the evening? I don't know how stressed they get from slight easy movement.
To both of the above I say: Put it outside for the summer. [For the winter use a humidity tray and good lighting.]

I hope this is helpful

ynot

shimbu
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I will read up.

Thanks to both of you.

I'll need to get a window shelf to keep the beauty outside. I unfortunatly live in a spot outside of Phili (Reading, PA) that I unfortunatly can't entirly trust the general population. Therefore thinking, it would be best, to keep the bonsai on the second story. I live in a townhouse until I buy (Hopefully in the next year, as I'm only 23) a house of my own with the perfect spot to keep bonsai outside ;)

I will take you up on your advice.
Keep it outside until fall.
Don't handle accessivly.
Wait until ATLEAST spring to try the repot.
be patient ;)

One more question. If outside on a ledge (with a railing, god forbib my newest baby fall 20 feet!) what should one due in large windy storms?

You guys are great! Thanks

ynot
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shimbu wrote:I will read up.

Thanks to both of you.
Your welcome :D Read on! 8).
Wait until ATLEAST spring to try the repot.
be patient ;)
Yes-Be patient! :D

No, Spring is the proper time for you to do this-Not after. [Being a tropical this is not precisely accurate info for you but I see no need to complicate things for you with discussions of lighting & humidity & repots indoors at this point...]
One more question. If outside on a ledge (with a railing, god forbib my newest baby fall 20 feet!) what should one due in large windy storms?
Provided it is not possible to shelter it from the wind as it sits...You have three choices as I see it:

1. Move it [Provided you /someone is always available to do this]
2. Insure that the tree is wired into the pot securely AND wired to your shelf securely.
3. Risk it
You guys are great! Thanks
Flattery will get you everywhere. [img]https://www.mysmilie.de/english/green/smilies/cheeky/img/003.gif[/img] :lol:

ynot

shimbu
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GAH! One more!

I removed the stones, to discover undergrowth. Mossy, as well as little leafy guys. Remove? Or will it be more of a symbiotic relationship?

ynot
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shimbu wrote:GAH! One more!

I removed the stones, to discover undergrowth. Mossy, as well as little leafy guys. Remove? Or will it be more of a symbiotic relationship?
IMO - Anything [Growing in the pot] that is not the tree itself is to be considered competition :evil:... And to the competition I say: "BEGONE!"[img]https://www.mysmilie.de/english/green/smilies/angry/4/img/001.gif[/img]

Consider also: If it has been a good environment for moss it has very possibly been too wet for your tree. Know what I mean?

ynot

shimbu
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GAH!! The old Japanese guy pulled a fast one on me then!

hah!

I'll rid those buggers!

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